Defensive snaps: Carter on rise

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team’s 20-16 win over the Cowboys, and analyzing what it might mean (as charted in the press box, small margin for error):

LB Gary Guyton – 74 of 74

CB Devin McCourty – 74 of 74

S Patrick Chung – 73 of 74

S James Ihedigbo – 73 of 74

LB/DE Rob Ninkovich – 73 of 74

CB Kyle Arrington – 69 of 74

DE Andre Carter – 68 of 74

LB Brandon Spikes – 67 of 74

DL Vince Wilfork – 67 of 74

DE Shaun Ellis – 40 of 74

CB Leigh Bodden – 38 of 74

DL Kyle Love – 32 of 74

DL Albert Haynesworth – 28 of 74

DL Gerard Warren – 19 of 74

DE Mark Anderson – 9 of 74

CB Antwaun Molden – 6 of 74

DE Jermaine Cunningham – 2 of 74

LB Dane Fletcher – 1 of 74

S Rob Gronkowski – 1 of 74

S Ross Ventrone – 1 of 74

(One additional snap accounting for 12-men-on-the-field penalty. Also includes two holding penalties, offsetting penalties, and two false start penalties.)

ANALYSIS: DE Andre Carter played a season-high 68 snaps, as he was given more of an opportunity to rush in sub packages. He had been coming off more regularly in sub over the first five weeks of the season. … DL Vince Wilfork continues to play a lot more than he has in the past, a result of the team’s scheme change. He used to come off in sub, but he’s staying on the field and rushing more. … DL Albert Haynesworth was used primarily as a rusher in sub, although he rotated in behind Kyle Love in base at times. … Veteran DE Shaun Ellis has been utilized mostly as a two-down option, coming off the field in sub. … Seeing veteran DL Gerard Warren come up with some big plays makes one think the Patriots can wait a bit longer to decide on PUP defensive linemen Ron Brace and Brandon Deaderick. … The lone play missed by LB/DE Rob Ninkovich was in the goal-line package. … LB Dane Fletcher’s lone play was on the goal-line … Bill Belichick explained today that part of the reason the Patriots stuck with just three linebackers was to simplify things from a substituting standpoint. … TE Rob Gronkowski played the old Randy Moss role at the end of the game, defending the Hail Mary.